Going to the beach can be a fun-filled activity but definitely requires more planning when babies and children join. The beach can be a great place for the family to enjoy for a few hours or the entire day. In order to plan for the ideal beach day it is important to pack the essentials. It can also be helpful to remember some tricks and tips to plan for potential mishaps.

Essential Beach Items


  • Sunscreen: Mineral-based sunscreen is usually best because it is better for the environment and provides maximum sun protection with pure zinc oxide.
  • Towels: It goes without saying that you need towels for the beach but it is important to remember to pack at least one for each person.
  • Hats with ties: The sun can be very powerful and a sun hat provides optimal protection especially for babies. In order to prevent the hat from falling off or blowing away, it can be helpful to choose one with ties or velcro straps.
  • Extra clothes: It is important to bring a change of clothes for each child so that they can change out of their wet bathing suits before getting in the car.
  • Extra waterproof zipper bag: This type of bag can be helpful when packing up at the end of the day. You can use an extra waterproof zipper bag for sandy and wet toys, towels, or bathing suits. Then the sand will be contained in the bag, preventing it from getting all over your car.
  • Insulated water bottles: Be sure to bring plenty of water for you and your family. It is easy to get dehydrated quickly especially on a very hot beach day. An insulated water bottle with ice water will stay cooler for longer than plastic bottles.
  • Food: You should bring plenty of food for everyone. It is never fun to be with hungry kids. If you’ll be at the beach all day be sure to pack a healthy lunch for the kids. Even if you are just going for a few hours you should bring snacks.
  • Plastic bags: It can be helpful to bring a trash bag to gather trash throughout the day. Also, zip lock bags can be helpful for leftover food, shells, and keeping cell phones dry.


  • Umbrella or beach tent: These can provide much-needed shade on a hot day and can also be a good place for a younger child to take a nap.
  • Inflatable pool: This can be a great way to allow kids, and especially babies, to get wet and cool down safely. Rather than running into the ocean with crashing waves and rocks, children can splash around in an inflatable pool where you can easily watch them.
  • Leather or plastic play-mat: A play-mat allows children to play at the beach without getting sand all over themselves and their toys. It is also easier to just brush off or wipe down than a towel or blanket.
  • Beach wagon: A beach wagon can be useful for easily transporting small children and all the beach stuff. You’ll be able to fit a cooler, beach toys, towels, and more into the wagon to easily transport to the beach. If you have a toddler or small children you can put them in the wagon so they don’t have to walk.

Helpful Tips and Tricks

  • Pack the beach bag the night before so you don’t have to stress about that in the morning.
  • Apply sunscreen to your kids before going to the beach so kids can enjoy the beach upon arrival.
  • Use sun protective clothing for your children to minimize the amount of skin exposed to the sun. This will save the time and energy needed to reapply sunscreen.
  • Arrive early and find an area with plenty of space for you and your family.

Most importantly enjoy quality time at the beach with your family! A beach day will go much more smoothly if you remember these essential items and tried and true tips.

Beach Day Checklist

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